UWE is piloting a new programme which attempts to raise awareness regarding the prevalence of sexual abuse on university campuses.

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Backed by the NUS, the Intervention Initiative campaign aims to educate students on the tell-tale signs of when sexual abuse is happening, and how they can positively intervene to stop it occurring.

Commissioned by Public Health England, UWE is the first university to roll out an intervention scheme, following the success of similar campaigns in the United States, such as Green Dot.

Dr. Rachel Fenton, UWE Lecturer and project leader said:  “The course aims to empower and engage students to stand up and speak out in the prevention of sexual assault and domestic violence. It engages everybody to be aware and recognise what the signs of sexual abuse are.”

Fenton added: “At UWE we are in the driving seat, we are the first university in England to have a bystander intervention programme, and the first to have a programme within the curriculum. It’s become really clear there is a national imperative to act.”

The campaign follows an NUS study which suggests that 37% of women and 12% of men felt they had been the subject of unwanted sexual advances.

A free educational toolkit is available for download and use, and includes eight sessions to be led by course leaders or facilitators.

You can find more information here.

By Phil Mansell